Dec 27,2022

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is one of many naturally occurring mineral salts, a compound of magnesium and sulfate in rock-like formations. The name “Epsom salt” is a nod to the town of Epsom, located a stone’s throw away from London in England, where the salt was supposedly discovered about 400 years ago.

While it resembles table salt, it has a very bitter taste and isn’t really meant to be consumed. Most users dissolve it in a warm bath for a soak with the hope of relieving stress or sore muscles.

Epsom salt for feet

Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate compound, unlike sodium table salt. Epsom salt has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent and pain reliever. Today, it’s most often added to hot baths and foot soaks to reduce stress.

The magnesium in Epsom salt is only minimally absorbed through the skin, and there’s no scientific evidence to date that shows that it actually increases magnesium levels in the body. But Epsom salt can ease pain related to inflammation, which can be beneficial for foot health.

Supporters claim that in addition to reducing pain symptoms and promoting healing, Epsom salt can be dissolved in warm water to ease pain from gout, eliminate odor, and help treat infection. More research is needed to support these claims.

Epsom Salt Foot Soak Benefits

  • May allow magnesium absorption through skin to ease muscle soreness. Effectiveness depends on salt concentration and soak time.
  • Can help draw moisture out from athlete's foot, creating an less inviting environment for fungus. Does not kill fungus.
  • Magnesium absorbed may reduce inflammation, easing pain from arthritis, gout, etc. But detox claims are unproven.
  • Exfoliates dead skin cells through salt's crystalline structure, leaving feet smooth and soft.
  • Foot soaks help cleanse feet and reduce odor by decreasing bacteria.

How to make a foot soak

To make an Epsom salt foot soak, follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill your bathtub or a basin with warm water until it’s deep enough to cover your feet.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to the warm water.
  3. Soak your feet for 30 to 60 minutes twice a week.
  4. For an aromatherapy boost, consider adding a few drops of diluted lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus essential oil to your foot bath.
  5. Moisturize your feet thoroughly after soaking them.

This kind of soak can cause dry skin, specifically on your feet. Be sure to moisturize your skin after an Epsom salt foot soak to prevent cracked skin and irritation.

If you begin to experience pain, redness, or sores before or after using a foot bath, schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss alternative treatment.

How Long Should An Epsom Salt Foot Soak Take?

Foot soaks are simple, effective, and relaxing ways to soothe the feet and the process does not take long.
The entire process of a foot bath soak should take about 20 to 25 minutes. 15 to 20 of these minutes are for soaking, the additional 5 minutes are for preparing your epsom salt foot bath. This soaking time gives you optimal time to enjoy the feeling of the soak and the aromatherapy coming from the bath salts before the water grows cold.
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